Mondegreens and other pervertions of the English language

As a South African I was born into a reality where we are fortunate to learn two languages.  From a very early age.  English is for most of us, the second one.  My mother tongue is Afrikaans, which should not be confused with the one that has all the clicks and clacks.  That’s Xhosa or San.

I’m obviously writing *insert gasp* in my second language, which is not an excuse.  I think if you choose to be stupid enough to create something in your second language, you need to be sure that your comprehension of that language falls within a category that is legit enough as to not offend the people of England.  The rest of the world doesn’t really matter so much, for their English sucks as much as mine.

With that being said, don’t you get the impression that there is an annual conference for the people who maintain the Oxford dictionary and the organizers of Annual Spelling Bees?   And during those conferences they serve alcohol and weed and heroin so that the delegates can come up with new ridiculous words to confuse all the helpless people on earth, who’s trying to make sense of the stuff already in circulation?  They generate words that would never by used by mere mortals such as us, unless you want to get beaten with a stick for being a pretentions prick.

As a reader of heaps of material, written by writers more gifted than me, I have in fact increased my vocabulary.  Don’t get me wrong, most of my new words make perfect sense, even though I still use accept and except incorrectly, but I blame the spell checker for not picking up that shit.  But some of the words they conjure during those sessions of disillusion and intoxication only make sense in the context of a sentence or paragraph.  When you find them alone, when they creep up on you, when you’re unprepared and unsuspecting, and they pounce on you, that’s when they rip your brain through your nostril and leave you violated like a village idiot.  Dumbfounded at what actually happened.

Here’s a few examples.

We all know a song that once we start to sing it, someone will inevitably correct your version of the lyrics.  That my friends, is not called “You suck at hearing lyrics”, it is called a mondegreen.

Humanity has a mutual drive to proof our birth certificates wrong.  Using creams and powders and exercise and surgery to slice off a few years, so to speak.  It’s great to have someone appreciate your efforts.  So wouldn’t you feel slightly offended, when you look a mint 41 being born in 1968, when someone walks passed you and claim you suffer from agerasia?

Every family knows a sgiomlaireached, who has the weird ability of always dropping in during meal times.  And then that same person takes over the conversation, wanting to know every single thing about every single thing you’ve talked about.  They are real quidnuncs aren’t they? Which is a word with dual functionality, as it sound like an awesome insult whilst actually being an accurate description of their annoying trait.

Borborygmus is a terrible word that is used by absolutely no-one, describing the rumbling sound when gas pass through the intestines.  More commonly known as farting.  Or flatulence if you want to impress the ladies.

I know as a blogger most people consider me not having a life.  Blogging is a strenuous activity that removes people from normal social interaction.  But I’ve come to know that people who conquered tetrapyloctomy really should just fall over and die.  For that is the art of splitting a hair four ways, something NOT required in modern day survival.  In my humble opinion it is far more important to learn the art of adoxography, which as the word clearly says, is the ability to be a skilled writer of useless information.

And then there is blandiloquent which describes a person who speaks in a ingratiating manner.  You might have to Google that one, and yes, it’s all English.

I have many more examples, but I consider most readers semi-intelligent and therefore have caught my drift, so to speak.  I definitely would not want to be branded as a philosophunculist.  So I’ll stop.  I have to acknowledge my sincere appreciation for not having to vocalise the content of this literate piece, for half of the words are simply unpronounceable.

I’m leaving you with a brilliant parody of “Blurred Lines”, as sung by Weird Al Yankovich, which will hopefully reduce your degree of mulligrubs and leave you in a state of cachinnation.  He calls it “Word Crimes” and there is no known penalties for committing them. Which is good news as I might end up incarcerated.



45 thoughts on “Mondegreens and other pervertions of the English language

  1. Brilliant! I actually work with a fellow who, I swear, it is his mission to toss unheard of words into a sentence. I used to feel intimidated, now I just look at him and say, that is not even a F#*king word! Love the video, a good start to my morning:)


  2. I’ve learned recently that the British are most definitely not, or maybe no longer, in charge of the English language. Apparently, they say things like:
    Swant a brew? Mi bally thinks mi throats cut. (Do you want a cup of tea? I’m starving)
    Elaine Canham told me. I had no idea.


    • That could not be possible. I need to consult with my therapist. If they don’t know how to speak anymore, the world is bound to be taken over by Zombies any day now.
      Have to go, I need to charge my electric chainsaw.


    • Here you are, I don’t know what I did wrong…
      Things change. It could be, however, that they have changed the language, and we haven’t kept up. Maybe Swant a brew is the new proper Kings English.
      Be sure to duct tape your doors and windows as well.


      • Thank goodness for that opening sentence. I thought I was seeing double.

        And about the duct tape, did that, also bought some canned foods, a water reservoir and a generator over the weekend. Now I just need a few guns. Where do you suggest I get them? I heard over in the states you can buy them anywhere…Over here, not so much, unless you know a Nigerian or two.


    • You can get one at Walmart that will kill your whole school over here. Very convenient. If you go to a “Gun Show” you can buy an Uzi for your 5 year old with nothing but a fake signature!! What would we do without NRA Lobbyists in Washington. I’m sure I could ship them as well, but South African customs might not be so happy about it.


      • Yeah… No. Mostly it’s just blowing up small animals and old cars and bitching about the President.
        I generally don’t like to get political, but in our country there are a whole lot of people who have been told (and believe) that President Obama (who has absolutely nothing better to do) is on his way to their houses as we speak to collect all their guns. Therefore, ipso facto, they must buy as many guns as possible, that do as much damage as possible, (mostly to squirrels and beer bottles) in order to be ready when he gets there.


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